N.Korean Arms 'Sold to Congolese Insurgents'

      December 24, 2009 09:13

      North Korea smuggled about 3,400 tons of weapons into the Democratic Republic of Congo in the midst of a civil war there in January, with some of them going to Congolese insurgents or nearby countries, VOA quoted a UN official as saying Wednesday.

      Christian Dietrich, a member of the UN Security Council committee investigating Congo, told VOA that the North Korean ship Birobong arrived in the port of Boma, Congo on Jan. 21, where it unloaded some 3,400 tons of weapons, 100 times the amount seized in Thailand earlier this month.

      Dietrich said the committee was told the weapons were "modern" but was unable to find out any details. Assuming all the weapons were AK rifles, the weight would be equivalent to about 800,000 of them, he added.

      North Korea in May also sent military instructors to train Congolese government soldiers for about four weeks, around the time the North conducted its second nuclear test.

      Dietrich said there are indications that North Korea was the source of state-of-the-art weapons carried by insurgents in eastern Congo. In some cases, Congolese government soldiers have sold their arms to neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, he said.

      Under UN Resolution 1807, adopted in 2008, the UN must be informed in advance of all arms transactions with and military training for Congo, but North Korea did not. The UNSC committee is a watchdog that oversees implementation of the UN resolution.

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